Review Montbell (well known Japanese outdoor gear retail chain)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Sandy, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Montbell is a well known Japanese gear chain, started was established in Osaka in 1975, by Isamu Tatsuno, a mountaineer and adventurer. He wanted good gear that WORKED, and so he ended up producing a huge lineup of gear including very tech clothing, tents, sleeping bags, climbing gear, a big range of hiking boots, etc.

    Previously, I've mainly looked at mainstream non Japanese gear, and at Montbell only in passing. I had the impression that it was kinda expensive, and maybe not as good..... I was wrong.

    I was looking for waterproof breathable jacket that had larger sleeves that would go over gloves (often mainstream stylish gear doesn't) as it seemed to me that the Japanese season this year might be wetter than average.
    I looked at Montbell's gortex, which was reasonably priced (around $350-$370), compared to some North Face gear(and others) which is just absurdly expensive. Then I looked at their OWN waterproof breathable Breeze-Dry Tec micro porous laminate gear(seam sealed) that was alongside the gortex gear. I found that the construction of both was superb, and the jackets had all the things you really want in a tech jacket. When looking at this stuff, you need to differentiate between ski gear and hiking gear. The hiking gear is lighter, no powder skirt, while the ski gear is more robust. They have a good range, and I got the one with the hood that tucks away, and the price was a shade over $200 AUD
    The jacket performs really well in the wet, is very waterproof and breathable (iirc 20,000/15,000)

    I was also after some mittens with the free index finger (I'd never had mittens before, but thought it would be good to have these for those extra cold days), looking at dozens of gloves, and finally coming back to Montbell. The gloves I got are waterproof breathable, and come in two pieces, the outer shell and a thick woolen glove insert, and they come way up the arm, and an easy to use & release drawstring. They are fantastic!!! I got them at the Montbell shop in Yokohama which has an outlet section for about $100) I also tried them with a pair of lighter ski gloves which fit inside, and this combo is also great, and adds flexibility. I pointed a friend to these mittens, and he said they are the best gloves he's ever had!!

    So then I started looking at what else they had at Montbell, both regular and in the outlet section.... They have merino wool thermals for around $45, compression tights (to just below the knee) about $45, reduced from about $90. I also got some merino wool ski socks (compression, shaped to left and right foot).... they are honestly the best ski socks I've ever had!! They are only about $28. They have a thicker toe cap section to keep your toes warm, and come up to just below the knee. They have slightly extra padding on the boney areas of your foot (sides of the fore foot and ankles)

    They have around 70 stores Japan wide, but it's the outlet stores which make Montbell tremendous value.

    Next time you're in Japan, check out their gear. It seems to be designed by a guy (and his team), who knows EXACTLY what is needed, not what just looks good.
     
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  2. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us
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    These are good.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rimey

    Rimey One of Us
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    Then these ^^ are used to hold this:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yep, they also have some funny stuff!!! :D

    Here are the merino wool ski socks:
    [​IMG]
     
  5. dossa5

    dossa5 One of Us
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    Ive had some of their gear in the past- not bad at all.
     
  6. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    I have a couple of their bits of gear, two sleeping bags and a jacket. All rock.
     
  7. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Mont-Bell have good gear at reasonable prices, not cheap by fair.

    They're great for kitting out the kids for a winter season in Japan. My kids gear gets trashed and the Mont-Bell gear has stood the test of time and been handed down to others in great condition.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    And even better when they are in the outlet section here!!!!


    The outlet section for some items in some stores is cheap.
     
  9. PMG

    PMG One of Us
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    We have bought mid layer tops from their Shinjuku store in the past. Great quality and reasonably priced. Bought a pair of their Thinsulate Dry Tec ski pants at the end of this year's trip. Rated 20,000/15,000. See how they go in Aus this winter. For $180 I thought they were worth the punt. They look really well made.
     
    #9 PMG, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  10. DeskRider

    DeskRider One of Us
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    Have use their mits for a few seasons and rate, like the long cuff. also have a spray jacket which i cant fault
     
  11. Kieran

    Kieran A Local

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    I bought the kids some Mont-Bell mitts at a store here in Indonesia (of all places). Could have been a little warmer, but construction and waterproofing was good. Price was good at about the equivalent of AUD$15.
     
  12. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    It's great gear!
    I have a bomber light weight tent
    [​IMG]
    And some primaloft jackets and a wind shell.
    Good functional gear.
     
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  13. ecowain

    ecowain One of Us
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    They have some great gear. Sleeping bags are awesome - stretchy mummy bags.
     
  14. sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 Addicted

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    We had a very happy time in the Hakuba shop and came back with some great base layer gear.
     
  15. Tegski

    Tegski Hard Yards

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    Great beanie from them keeps my bald head warm ;-)
     
  16. skichanger

    skichanger A Local
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    I noticed their gear in more shops around here this season. There was even a Montbell shop in one of the local shopping centres that I had not noticed before.
     
  17. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker
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    They have a fantastic shop in Zermatt.
    Had to show great control whilst browsing.
     
  18. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Can get a bit of there stuff in NZ, all the hardcore BC types in hakuba seemed to wear montbell outerwear. Their sleeping bags look lightweight and warm!
     
  19. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    I've got one primaloft mid-layer. Purchased from the Shinjuku store 4 years ago for about $100 AUD. Equivalent item at K***U would be 4x. I had to super glue my wallet shut when I stumbled on the a store in Sapporo recently.

    Well made, good designs and great value.Wish they'd open a store in AUS
     
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  20. Tegski

    Tegski Hard Yards

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    Larry Adler has MontBell - I have just seen their stock in Jindabyne today :)
    On sale too...
     
  21. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Anywhere else stock them?
     
  22. Tegski

    Tegski Hard Yards

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    Google tells me Torpedo7 - great website - hold onto your wallet - too many bargains! ;-)
     
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  23. Chappo

    Chappo Hard Yards

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    Montbell has recently (Nov 2016) opened a store on Kent St Sydney. The staff there know what they're doing too!
     
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  24. Chappo

    Chappo Hard Yards

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  25. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    about time, awesome
     
  26. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    limited range though and a bit of an AUS tax
     
  27. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us
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    Mini Pini loves his orange Mont Bell onesy!

    [​IMG]
     
  28. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    Wow, Mini Pini has already got venting sussed too I notice.
     
  29. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us
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    haha yep! it was mid October so pretty hot
     
  30. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture

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    My wife and I are now sporting (non matching) Montbell puff jackets.

    I'm a fan.
     
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  31. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yeah, they're good.
    I bought a Montbell 20,000/15,000 jacket the other day, 21,600yen!!! Great deal!!
     
  32. sn0wbunny29

    sn0wbunny29 Addicted

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    I love my stuff that I got in Hakuba. Would love to get more!
     
  33. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
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    These ones @Sandy ?

    [​IMG]

    https://en.montbell.jp/products/goods/disp.php?product_id=1118179
     
  34. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    DidSurfNowSki likes this.